I’ve curated a list of some of my favourite Asian appetisers. From the ever-popular chicken satay and crispy samosas to the delightful world of steamed buns and more, I’ve got your party snacking and finger food needs covered.
In this post, I am taking you on a culinary journey through the vast and diverse continent of Asia. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller who has savoured flavours from various Asian countries, a fan of your local Asian eateries, or someone who loves recreating Thai, Indian, and Chinese dishes at home, you’re in for a treat.
Get ready to explore a world of fresh and fried finger foods, street eats, and savoury delights that will not only satisfy your cravings but also inspire your culinary creativity. I’ve divided all appetisers into regional categories and provided calories, protein and carbohydrates for each recipe to make it easier to choose what suits you.
Spring rolls, whether fresh or fried, are delicious and simple to prepare, but they're best made on the day of serving. They make for a fantastic group activity with a variety of ingredients. This Vietnamese-inspired recipe features shrimp, vegetables, herbs, and nước chấm, a fish sauce-based dipping sauce. From Healthy Nibbles & Bites.Calories (per roll): 90Protein: 6.7 gramsCarbs: 8.6 grams
Banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich, typically consists of tender lemongrass pork (substitutable with chicken or tofu), jalapeño, julienned carrot and cucumber, cilantro, and a generous mayo spread. If you can't find Vietnamese baguettes, consider using sliders to serve them as appetizers. From Cooking Therapy.Calories (per sandwich): 586Protein: 31 grams Carbs: 83 grams
Pâté is a beloved livery spread for Vietnamese Bánh Mì sandwiches. Make your own pate at home with just a few simple ingredients and take your sandwich to the next level. This recipe makes about 2 cups. From Vicky Pham.Calories: 143Protein: 11 gramsCarbs: 6 grams
Vietnamese Shrimp on Sticks (Chạo Tôm) consists of flavorful shrimp mousse wrapped around lemongrass or sugarcane sticks. It is a tasty appetizer for daily meals or parties. From Delightful Plate.Calories: 91Protein: 15 gramsCarbs: 3 grams
Most fried appetizers come with a high carb count, but this recipe transforms the classic deep-fried potato dumpling from India into a keto-friendly snack with a creamy cauliflower filling. From Simply So Healthy.Calories (per samosa): 155Protein: 10 gramsCarbs: 5 grams
Pakora is traditionally a deep-fried finger food from India mostly consisting of vegetables (in this instance, onion) with flavour from a carefully chosen blend of warm spices. Serve with a homemade chutney for the most impressive final product. From Piping Hot Curry.Calories (per recipe): 171Protein: 8 gramsCarbs: 27 grams
Wings, while undoubtedly an excellent choice for a main dish, also make for an appetizer that captures both hearts and palates. These wings have been expertly marinated in a zesty, Indian-inspired Tandoori yoghurt blend. From Spice Cravings.Calories (per 4 chicken wings): 558Protein: 44 gramsCarbs: 7 grams
This Chinese dish also known as qiāng bǐng is super simple with a short list of ingredients, but a tricky texture to master. The end result is flaky, chewy, and aromatic. From The Foodie Takes Flight.Calories (per 8-inch pancake): 701Protein: 18 gramsCarbs: 98 grams
Crafting a beloved restaurant classic in the comfort of your home is made simple, showcasing succulent Peking duck breasts paired with delicate pancakes for serving. Perfect the authentic flavors with this recipe. From Yang’s Nourishing Kitchen.Calories (per serving): 1,050Protein: 44 grams Carbs: 68 grams
Originating in Shanghai, this widely adored street food has found its way into dim sum menus worldwide in various interpretations. You can try your hand at your own with just a handful of simple ingredients, a touch of finesse, and a trusty steamer basket to simplify the process. From Woon Heng.Try this recipe with pork for a classic meaty take on bao from The Omnivore’s Cookbook.Calories (per recipe): 1,190Protein: 28 gramsCarbs: 220 grams
Most Asian countries have their own version of spring rolls. Your favourite Chinese takeaway add-on is probably similar to this one. Deep-fried packed with thinly shredded veggies and ground pork – what’s not to love? From Healthy Nibbles and Bits.Calories (per roll): 140Protein: 4.5 grams Carbs: 13 grams
These Rice paper egg rolls are gluten-free and loaded with shredded cabbage. You can make these egg rolls with rice paper wrappers in oven, air fryer, or stovetop. From I Heart Umami.Calories (per roll): 86Protein: 5 grams Carbs: 9 grams
Inari sushi, a budget-friendly Japanese and Hawaiian delicacy, features cold rice in a fried tofu pocket. This easy, make-ahead dish complements a variety of other recipes due to its simple ingredients. From The Palatable Life.Calories (per recipe): 1,327Protein: 30 gramsCarbs: 235 grams
Like many of the featured recipes, the dumpling is one with outstanding regional variations across the continent of Asia. This pork dumpling is inspired by Japanese culinary tradition, steamed then pan-fried to crispy golden perfection. From Salt Sugar Magic.Calories (per dumpling): 46Protein: 1.5 gramsCarbs: 4.5 grams
These easy skewers are perfect for a summer barbecue starter or main because you can toss them on the grill. The yakitori flavour stems from a sweet and savoury sauce with mirin, brown sugar, and garlic, ginger, and of course – soy sauce. From Jessica Gavin.Calories (per serving): 308Protein: 21 grams Carbs: 30 grams
Ahi in any fashion is an impressive delicacy to serve. This seared tataki dish is beautifully presented with melt-in-your-mouth flavour. From Kitchen Confidante.Calories (per serving): 503Protein: 32 gramsCarbs: 9 grams
Prepare these delectable Thai-flavored fish cakes, coated in crispy panko, in advance and store them in the freezer for convenient entertaining or a quick and satisfying lunch. Pair them with the delightful chili aioli recipe or your preferred spicy sauce. From Dishing Out Health.Try this vegan version from Domestic Gothess if you prefer eating plant-based.Calories (per two cakes): 340Protein: 21 gramsCarbs: 23 grams
Meatballs make a fantastic addition to any gathering. These Thai meatballs are skillfully seasoned with a medley of herbs and spices, evoking the flavors of a classic tom yum soup. They are perfect bite-sized delights to serve with toothpicks. From Simply Suwanee.Calories (per 4 pieces): 164Protein: 19 grams Carbs: 7.5 grams
There are many regional varieties of chicken satay which is essentially a spicy chicken cooked on skewers and served with dipping sauce. Flavourings, thickness of meat, and the type of meat will vary. This low-carb version takes inspiration from my favourite components of the dish.Try it with tofu in this vegan satay recipe from Darn Good Veggies.Calories (per skewer): 312Protein: 32.4 grams Carbs: 6.2 grams
If you’re looking for the snack of champions, you can’t look past these coconut sriracha cashews. Golden, sticky and with that addictive hum of heat, everyone will go nuts for these moreish marvels. From Marion’s Kitchen.Try it this coconut sriracha stovetop popcorn.
Crispy, golden and flaky pastry encases tender, juicy meat with Thai massaman curry paste. Rustle up a batch and get the party started. From Marion’s Kitchen.Calories (per skewer): 312Protein: 32.4 grams Carbs: 6.2 grams
Kimchi, a Korean culinary staple, has earned its popularity for a compelling reason. This fermented cabbage delight is remarkably easy to master and brings a tantalizing tanginess that elevates a wide range of dishes, be it paired with meat skewers, stirred into fried rice, or enjoyed as a simple side. From My Korean Kitchen.Calories (per recipe): 136Protein: 9 gramsCarbs: 37 grams
Gimbap or kimbap is a sushi-inspired roll from Korea with veggies, egg, and a thinner layer of rice than most Japanese sushi rolls. This plant-based version doesn’t skip a beat. Though this recipe takes some effort, it’s well worth it! From Seonkyoung Longest.Calories (per serving): 500Protein: 18 grams Carbs: 80 grams
These Korean-inspired keto kimchi pancakes with dipping sauce are loaded with flavor, lower in carb, and much easier to make than scallion pancakes. From I Heart Umami.Calories (per serving): 163Protein: 5 gramsCarbs: 8 grams
This recipe for sticky Korean fried shrimp bao is a real crowdpleaser, especially if you’re making the buns from scratch. Tender yet crispy prawns, fresh lettuce and a smoky, spicy sauce… pretty epic. From Marion’s Kitchen.Calories (per serving): 500Protein: 18 grams Carbs: 80 grams
This Taiwanese recipe is a great breakfast, but it works as an appetizer too. Cut the crepe into bites and serve with toothpicks. This can be served hot or cold. From Foodie Baker.Calories (per crepe): 229Protein: 10 gramsCarbs: 33 grams
If you're a fan of popcorn chicken, you're in for a treat with this Taiwanese street food recipe. When cooking for guests, rest assured that the universally beloved fried chicken, with its irresistibly crunchy texture, will disappear in no time. From Two Plaid Aprons.Calories (per serving): 415Protein: 45 gramsCarbs: 39 grams
Gua Bao is a dim sum classic featuring delicious braised pork belly stuffed into fluffy bao buns for a tasty traditional treat. From Omnivore's Cookbook.Calories (per serving): 257Protein: 16.2 gramsCarbs: 7.4 grams
Taiwanese beef rolls consist of sliced braised beef, wrapped with hoisin sauce, scallion, and cucumber in a crispy, flaky scallion pancake. From The Woks Of Life.Calories (per serving): 332Protein: 18 gramsCarbs: 19 grams
Inspired by Japanese seafood pancakes, these shrimp or prawn fritters with greens onions and Sriracha mayo are a hit as finger food or a main.Calories (per serving): 106Protein: 5.5 gramsCarbs: 4.8 grams
Pulled pork sliders are the ultimate party bite. Juicy, sticky, super tender pulled pork is piled onto soft buns and paired with a crunchy slaw, creamy aioli and sweet chilli jam. They’re easy and perfect for prepping ahead of time. From Dished By Kate.
Easy to make Asian Steak Bites that are ready in 15 minutes! These tender and juicy steak bites are perfect as an appetizer or as a meal. From Jo Cooks.Calories (per serving): 288Protein: 24 gramsCarbs: 11 grams
Calling all cheeseburger and spring roll lovers – this crispy cheeseburger spring rolls recipe is about to blow your taste buds away! From Casually Peckish.ear in no time.Calories (per serving): 131Protein: 5 gramsCarbs: 10 grams
Give a holiday classic a surprising twist with these Chinese deviled eggs that are bursting with exciting flavors to shake things up! From Omnivore's Cookbook.Calories (per serving): 112Protein: 5.7 gCarbs: 3.6 g